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Thread: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

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    Super Toneologist Willis's Avatar
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    Default South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    What are the differences? Which do you prefer?
    formerly n00b

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Type it in to the search engine on oour forum. We've had a thousand disscussions about this
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    I think that the word is that African mahogany has more snap and brightness to it than Honduran mahogany. I wish I could talk out of personal experience though.

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    I did that before I made this thread and the most I could find is a sentence or two saying Gibson used to use South American mahogany and switched to African mahogany, and that the lighter pieces of African mahogany from the top of the tree are the best.
    formerly n00b

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    when you say african mahogany are you talking about Limba wood?
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire
    when you say african mahogany are you talking about Limba wood?


    African mahogany and limba are two different trees actually.

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire
    when you say african mahogany are you talking about Limba wood?
    I guess both... the guy who's building my body said he can get any type of wood and they're all about the same price.
    formerly n00b

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Most of the top-grade mahoganies are south or central american and usually refered to as "honduran". this is True Mahogany.

    The lower (or less desirable) varieties are Luan (called philipine mahogany) which is what most of the Korean and Chinese "mahogany" guitars are made of.

    The Chinese guitars are made out of various asian woods that are variants that can be dyed to look like mahogany but don't have the richness of look or depth of sound that true honduran does.

    African mahogany is a whole different deal and doesn't sound or look the same as the honduran stuff.

    None of the above are Limba (also known as Korina)which is not called African Mahogany. This is the holy grail stuff that so many people say is more dynamic, more "open" yadda yadda yadda. So don't confuse this with African.

    GS

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by theboatcandream
    African mahogany and limba are two different trees actually.
    Thats why I was asking...
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by n00b
    I guess both... the guy who's building my body said he can get any type of wood and they're all about the same price.
    All woods are not the same price...not even close
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarSandwich
    Most of the top-grade mahoganies are south or central american and usually refered to as "honduran". this is True Mahogany.

    The lower (or less desirable) varieties are Luan (called philipine mahogany) which is what most of the Korean and Chinese "mahogany" guitars are made of.

    The Chinese guitars are made out of various asian woods that are variants that can be dyed to look like mahogany but don't have the richness of look or depth of sound that true honduran does.

    African mahogany is a whole different deal and doesn't sound or look the same as the honduran stuff.

    None of the above are Limba (also known as Korina)which is not called African Mahogany. This is the holy grail stuff that so many people say is more dynamic, more "open" yadda yadda yadda. So don't confuse this with African.

    GS

    Limba is a wood, Korina is a finish. I know that Limba wood is often refered to as Korina but let's keep the confusion down...This is one of the reasons I was asking about which wood was being discussed here...every thinmg you have heard about Limba wood is, without a doubt, true...if you have ever played a guitar made from real Limba wood you will relize very quickly why it costs so much money and also why it is the "holy grail" tone wood.
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire
    All woods are not the same price...not even close
    He's not charging any extra for different types of wood, so I'm not going to complain.

    So limba is generally preferred over both types of mahogany?
    formerly n00b

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Real Limba wood is my fav for set neck, humbucker, Gibson-ish guitars. I have a 1982 Gibson Moderne that is real Limba and it is an amazing sounding guitar both pluged in and unplugged...Im not gonna say that it is better but I do like it more than most plain Mahogany's...that said, the worlds supply of real limba is drying up quickly and is quite costly...
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by n00b
    He's not charging any extra for different types of wood, so I'm not going to complain.

    So limba is generally preferred over both types of mahogany?


    No. I've talked to metal players who say they tried limba then went back to mahogany because mahogany had more bass and lower mids.

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by theboatcandream
    No. I've talked to metal players who say they tried limba then went back to mahogany because mahogany had more bass and lower mids.

    I wouldn't agree with that at all...
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    I have a few small pieces of African Mahogany that i bought for a Gibson style homemade neck... After machineing it and getting it ready to glue up i past on using it..... It felt too light for my taste. I went back and bought a 12 foot board of Mahogany from South America... Still have about 6 feet left of that board....

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Speaking of, did the supply of White Limba just dry up? Warmoth had white and black available for years and now I only see black.

    I'd love a White Limba (Korina finish) something.... LP, Explorer, V.... something...

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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    I was talking to Evan when he was waiting on his Hamer (which is while Limba) and he told me that Jol told him that white Limba was simply hard to get these days...also, FWIW...Black Limba sounds a good bit different that while Limba...
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    what about mahogany from canada?
    Quote Originally Posted by BeanDip
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    Default Re: South American mahogany vs African Mahogany

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarSandwich

    African mahogany is a whole different deal and doesn't sound or look the same as the honduran stuff.
    So why would Gibson be using it today and do their current guitars sound or look anything like their older ones?
    Only Gibson Custom Shop get's the Honduran, everything else is African.

    In my limited wood working experience, African is tricky. I recently bought 20ft of wide African Mahogany and had 4 usable body blanks out of it. The other 6, albiet beautifully figured, were either too heavy or too hard.
    The remaining body blanks are great, very light in weight and easy to work with. I notice that my Honduras Mahogany lumber tends to be a little darker (orangy) and a little finer. The African is a little lighter and a little courser. When I called my wholesaler, one of the biggest in the country, he said that the Honduras Mahogany is a lot more limited on export and that it's nearly impossible to get very wide (for one piece bodies) piece. The African is a lot easier to obtain.

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